Why I Love Miss Marple

It may not come as much as a surprise that I love Agatha Christie. After all, the protagonist of my mystery series is a 62-year-old woman who lives in a small village. You have to think Miss Marple. I certainly did.

But what I love about Miss Marple is not that she's a fluffy little old lady, but that she's tough. She sees the world the way it is. She has friendships, she's loyal, but she's really smart and people are always underestimating her. I like underdogs and I like writing about people that other people tend to dismiss because they think they know who they are. 

Here are some of my favorite Miss Marple quotes (by and about her).

“Yes, it was dangerous, but we are not put into this world, Mr. Burton, to avoid danger when an important fellow creature's life is at stake. You understand me?” 
― Agatha Christie, The Moving Finger

“It's what's in yourself that makes you happy or unhappy.” 
― Agatha ChristieA Murder Is Announced

“Downstairs in the lounge, by the third pillar from the left, there sits an old lady with a sweet, placid, spinsterish face and a mind that has plumbed the depths of human iniquity and taken it all as in the day's work....where crime is concerned, she's the goods.” 
― Agatha ChristieThe Body in the Library

“One does see so much evil in a village,' murmured Miss Marple in an explanatory voice.” 
― Agatha ChristieThe Body in the Library

 

Introducing Maggie Dove

Welcome to my new blog. Thank you so much for stopping by.

On June 14, my first mystery is to be published by Penguin Random House’s digital Alibi imprint and I’m thrilled. I’ve been reading mysteries since I was a child, and I’m honored to be entering the official mystery writing world.

Let me tell you a bit about my mystery, Maggie Dove, which is being marketed as “a cozy mystery with bite.”

Maggie Dove is a 62-year-old Sunday School teacher who lives in a small village in the Hudson Valley. She loves her village, her church and her friends, but her life has been marked by terrible loss. Two decades ago, her 17-year-old daughter was killed in a car accident and Maggie has been unable to heal. She feels like she’s sleepwalking through her life, and she might have stayed that way except that a new neighbor, Marcus Bender, has moved next door and he’s driving her crazy. Suddenly Maggie’s beginning to feel the stirrings of life, though unfortunately they’re coming in the form of anger.

Marcus Bender wants her to cut down the oak tree on her front lawn. Maggie loves that oak tree. Her father planted it, her daughter played on it. She’s not cutting down the tree. Bender offers her money. She says no. Then, one day, she goes out to look at the tree and finds lye bubbling in its dirt. Marcus Bender is trying to kill her tree. She’s beside herself. Furious, she pounds on his door and tells him that if he sets foot on her lawn again, she’s going to kill him. That night, Maggie feels terrible. What’s happening to her? What sort of person is she turning into? She vows to try and calm down her temper.

The next day she finds Marcus’s dead body under her tree.

No one in her small village of Darby-on-Hudson seriously thinks she commited the crime, but soon a prime suspect emerges and Maggie’s horrified. It’s Peter Nelson, a man who was the worst of her Sunday School students. He’s grown to be a troublesome sort of man, but he was also her late daughter’s fiancé and he’s devoted to Maggie. He takes her to lunch. He visits her, he remembers her daughter’s birthday. She loves Peter Nelson and will do anything in the world to protect him. So Maggie begins investigating the murder.  But as she starts asking questions, she discovers something troubling: many of the people she knows are harboring secrets. Even more troubling is Maggie Dove’s realization that the murderer must be someone she loves.